Today’s students are online more than ever, which makes online marketing a prime medium for advertising dollars. Marketing to the much sought after 18-30 year old demographic can be tricky and requires a bit of creativity. Also keeping up on popular trends is important too. If you’re just getting started in this space be sure to do your research.
Thankfully resources abound in this industry, with top higher education marketing blogs sharing case studies, blog posts, video and more on a regular basis. To add to the list, here are my 5 quick tips to help in your efforts to market to college students online.
Optimize for Mobile
Mobile phones with Internet access aren’t uncommon anymore. Just about every 18-30 year old has one (91% of Americans do, according to this survey). So don’t you think your website should be easily accessible and user friendly on a mobile device?
Consider mobile developing a mobile app, simplified navigation, reduced content or text, mobile only version of your site and mobile only features. If at this point you haven’t looked at your site on a mobile device or thought about mobile optimization – you should! (Just found this Google webinar about mobile optimization – check it out!).
Short and Concise
Getting right to the point within the context of your web copy is important if you’re marketing to college students. They don’t want to read flowery sales copy or cheesy testimonials. Get right to the point, be short and concise with your copy. Not only is long copy hard to read on a cell phone, it’s also often unnecessary to get your point across. Keep this in mind as you develop content not only on your website but offsite as well.
Think About Parents Too
Most students cannot afford college, it’s a fact of life. Parents often contribute to children’s education and should be in your thoughts as a marketer. Do you have sections on your site that cater to the parents of college students? Help answer their questions and give them the information they want to see. They’re the ones holding the purse strings.
Don’t limit your efforts to just Facebook because you now that’s where a lot of people spend their time. Diversify your marketing efforts to include other social networking and offsite content marketing practices. Guest blogging can be big in this space too, so don’t count it out. Develop relationships with higher education bloggers and start writing content. Perform keyword research to find long tail phrases students and parents might be searching for, and develop content around those phrases.
Let Them Speak
A recent study found that college students want to hear from other students and that is can play a large role in their decision to attend. Similarly so, if you are marketing a product to this demographic you need to let them see what others are saying about you. Allow comments on your brands Facebook wall, monitor review websites and encourage engagement through social channels. When the need to respond to a comment arises be sure to use your best judgement. A negative review very well could turn into something worse if you don’t respond in the right way. Reviews can be a necessary evil in some cases.
These are just a few quick tips. Have some additional to add? I’d love to hear!